Narcissism is part of the narcissist personality disorder (NPD), which is a mental health condition, needing management by an expert like Psychologist. Like any other mental health condition, narcissism is not black and white. Rather, it is a spectrum disorder, needing diagnosis by a qualified expert. Whether or not someone has NPD is not easy to say. Read on to know what characterizes NPD, according to experts:
Signs and Symptoms of NPD
Superiority is the first sign of the narcissism. Narcissists have a grand image of self, with the need to be the best and right at everything. They view the world in two dimensions, either good or bad, right or wrong and superior or inferior with no middle ground.
Perfectionism is another sign of a narcissist. They have extreme need for being perfect, and arranging everything exactly as they want. They want life to play out exactly as they envision it, with impossible demands. Consequently, they are mostly dissatisfied and miserable most of the time.
Blaming and deflecting is the how the narcissists work if things don’t go their way. They don’t take well to criticism especially when the results they desire aren’t there. Narcissists usually blame the person closest to them, as they are less likely to leave or reject them. At other times, the blame is generalized.
Lack of empathy is a hallmark sign of narcissists. Most narcissists are so self-involved that they don’t regard other people’s emotions and have very little ability to empathize with others. This makes them difficult to apologize to others, with no remorse or guilt for their actions.
Narcissists have no boundaries. They feel shocked when they are told ‘no’ and can be demanding and persistent when they want something.
Narcissists have no emotional reasoning. Their decisions are based on how they feel instead of using logic or reasoning. Explanations of any kind don’t matter to them as they honestly don’t understand them.
Who is at Risk of NPD?
Men are more at risk of narcissism than women. The disorder begins in childhood or teenage with full traits in adulthood. While the exact cause of narcissism is not known, it is hypothesized that parenting styles—either overprotection or neglect—play a role, along with genetics and neurobiology.
How to Prevent NPD?
NPD can be difficult to prevent as the exact cause is not understood. However, the following can help: getting treatment for mental health disorders as soon as they are recognized—especially childhood problems and starting family therapy to communicate better.
What are The Treatment Options?
Treatment of NPD centers around psychotherapy, with medication if need be, especially with other concurrent mental health conditions. Psychotherapy helps narcissists relate better with others, giving them a better understanding of their emotions and what drives them. This makes it easier for them to accept responsibility for their actions, develop and maintain relationships and regulate their feelings.
With psychotherapy, people with NPD understand the issues related to self-esteem better and even learn to tolerate criticism. They also learn to give up unattainable goals and gain an insight on what they can accomplish.
Short-term therapy is appropriate in times of stress while long-term therapy is better for ongoing cases to help achieve the goals. Inclusion of family and partner in the therapy is helpful for people with NPD. In case of concurrent anxiety or depression, medication can be added if the mental healthcare provider deems appropriate.
Narcissism causes problems in many facets of life—including work, relationships and finances. People with NPD find relationship unfulfilling and generally make people around them unhappy. Psychotherapy for NPD by Psychologist in Islamabad is most helpful.